To help protect healthcare workers and our patients during the Winter surge / Omicron phase, use the checklist below both with facility management and coworkers to ensure your hospital is operating in the most safe and secure manner possible.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Drive expanded booster shots among workforce to maximize protection against Delta and Omicron variants
- Promote the need for and effectiveness of vaccine boosters (via frequent leadership messages, forums with respected doctors, department-level informational meetings, incentives).
- Offer employees the booster on paid time at work for all shifts and locations.
- Offer employees leave for adverse reactions to the vaccine.
- [KAISER] Continue offering employees booster on paid time at work for all shifts and locations.
- [KAISER] Continue offering employees leave for adverse reactions to the vaccine.
Expand rapid testing in response to increasingly transmissive variants
- Expand employee access to testing.
- Provide workers with at-home testing kits to check on symptoms and potential exposures.
Maintain and increase safety measures that have proven effective
- Assess and tighten current visitation rules in response to the surge.
- Tighten physical distancing protocols that have become lax.
- Issue N95 masks to all employees daily due to Omicron’s high transmissibility.
- Assess the current N95 mask policy and determine how it can be expanded.
Define and disseminate new surge plan
- Develop and communicate response plans for a sudden surge (e.g., cancellation of elective procedures, installation of COVID tents, conversion of units).
Clearly define COVID exposure policies in light of increasingly transmissive variants
- Employer explicitly communicates current policy for handling exposures.
- Immediately notify employees of workplace exposures.
- Pay employees for mandatory quarantines.
When making staffing decisions, recognize and address the reality that our healthcare workforce is smaller and more fatigued than ever before
- Develop a plan to accelerate hiring for positions that are or will be needed.
- Ensure staff take desperately needed time off to rest and recuperate.
- Plan for additional shifts, incentives, and triggers in advance.
- No mandatory overtime that will push more staff out of the workforce.
Emotional Wellness and Recognition
Recognize and respond to the increasing emotional and mental strain on workers — including documented increases in stress, anxiety, exhaustion, depression, and suicide
- Enhance and promote EAP and other mental health resources.
- Make grief counseling readily available to all employees.
- Train managers to check in on the well-being of employees, especially those working significant overtime.